There won’t be a Grandpa’s Letters post today or for the rest of the week. There are a few reasons for this. For one, I still feel like it is important for me to step aside and let other people talk at the moment. If you haven’t read them, I think Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama both put out eloquent, essential statements supporting what the George Floyd protests are about (i.e., they’re not just about George Floyd). Of course, there are many others out there with important things to say as well. Since Grandpa’s Letters aren’t going anywhere, I’ll save them for a slightly quieter week.
In addition to that, I need to take a breather from my current pace. I wrote the last several entries during the first three weeks or so of the quarantine, back when no one knew what was happening and many of us were afraid to leave our homes. Now that we’ve settled somewhat into this new normal (I still miss escaping to the local coffee shop to read), I’ve been working on – and have now just about finished – a new online United States History since 1865 class that includes a lot of new programming and material (you can actually check out the syllabus here, which I’ve posted for students who cannot access it via the school). Between that and finishing the spring semester grading, I have not had a great deal of time to start the next big research portion of this project, which is the Battle of Leyte Gulf. Since I want to provide as much context as possible when I start going through those letters, I have a lot of reading to do in the weeks ahead.
Here’s what I have in mind: during the next two weeks I will post the August and September 1945 updates, along with a couple of other posts I’ve been working on. Then I will take a break from the Grandpa’s Letters for a few weeks (I have a lot of things to say about the move to online-only education and our rapidly expanding garden) and pick it back up after July 4th. At that point I will start posting Grandpa’s Letters updates regularly again, probably once a week, along with book reviews.
There’s one other really big reason for why I’m slowing it down . . . we’re approaching the end of the line! I only have 14 months’ worth of letters left until Elmer is mustered out and sent back home. I am sad that this journey is coming to its climax pretty soon and that much of the remaining work of finishing the book will be the usual solitary labor of historical research, writing, and editing. It may sound hackneyed by now, but it really has been a privilege getting to know my grandparents throughout this project.
I don’t want “Grandpa’s Letters” to be the last time I do this. I would like to keep this blog growing, and I already have a few “next project” ideas that I’m beginning to explore for early 2021. In the meantime, there is much to be excited about . . . for instance, I’m planning to celebrate the publication of Never Caught Twice with a lot of horse stealing stories, artifacts, and maybe even some videos. I am also going to try to contextualize it a bit with some Western history posts and book reviews. Stay tuned!
Finally, thank you as always for reading and for all the feedback you’ve given me over these past few months. I sincerely hope that you and your loved ones are staying safe and healthy, and that a better world for all of us is just around the corner.